The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), which serves as the main advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on policy development, recently released an Issue Brief entitled, “Health Insurance Coverage Among Working-Age Adults with Disabilities: 2010 to 2018.” Among the findings were the proportion of working-age adults (i.e., age 18-64) with disabilities who had health insurance coverage for the whole year increased from roughly 71% to 81%, with the proportion of adults with disabilities who were uninsured for the whole year fell from about 17% to 9%. It is important to note that most of this coverage occurred in 2014, when the ACA went into full effect, including the Medicaid expansion. It should also be noted that this issue brief predates the provisions in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 which further expand subsidies for Marketplace plans, along with investing $80 million in outreach funding for navigators.
This issue brief showed the increase in coverage for people with disabilities through ACA Medicaid expansion and creating programs/policy interventions to reduce inconsistent coverage, which is an unfortunate reality for many Medicaid beneficiaries. Through the establishment of the ACA and its expansions, along with the current COVID-19 pandemic, full access to healthcare and coverage for people with disabilities has been an ongoing battle. However as this brief demonstrates, by expanding enrollment opportunities, coverage gaps can continue to be eliminated.